Review by Zylo the wolf
"This is a review that was written after the 500 ports and the DS remake."
The reason why FInal Fantasy IV got the name Final Fantasy II in the US was because neither FFII or FIII on the Nes got released outside of Japan, so they decided to name this game Final Fantasy II instead. It might confuse some people but from now on I'm going to call this game Final Fantasy IV, even if it's the american release I write about is called Final Fantasy II. Now that we have gotten that cleared up lets talk about the actual game instead.
Ever since the first Final Fantasy got released it has always been one of the most interesting RPG series, and now it's one of the most popular game series of them all ever thanks to each new game isn't a sequel to the previous game and often takes place in a whole different new world. In other words when it comes to Final Fantasy you don't have to worry about that you won't understand the plot because you haven't played the previous games in the series.
Most RPGs usually has a teenage boy who have either never used a sword before but for some reason he's the chosen one and have to accept his fate, however Final Fantasy IV is very different from that. The main character is the Captain of the Red Wings, a military airship fleet of the Baron Kingdom. The game begins when he's on a mission to steal the water crystal from the city of Mysida. In order to get this crystal Cecil had to kill a lot of innocent people because that was his orders, but he realizes that he can't live with it so he talks to King Baron about it.
The king then sends Cecil and his best friend Kain on a mission to the summoner village where they are supposed to deliver a package, which is actually a big bomb that destroys the whole village. After that Cecil wakes up far away from Baron and the only other person he sees is little Rydia, the last surviving summoner. His quest to stop the Baron Kingdom has begun.
In Final Fantasy I and Final Fantasy III (in Japan) you could choose what kind of class you wanted your character to have, and in Final Fantasy II the characters got better at things they did the most, for example one character got more HP the more damage the enemies did on him or her. But in Final Fantasy IV you have no chance at all to customise your characters. Some are great fighters, some are good mages, and some are really useless.
You never have the chance to choose which characters you have in your party, which is something that I think many dislike about this game but I think it also helps the game to make the characters a lot more interesting and it also helps the plot a lot more when it's like this. Character will leave you, comeback later, die, turn out not to be the dead e.t.c. The fact that your party isn't always balanced between wizards and warrior gives the game some challenge.
Or at least in the Japanese version. The only reason why I'm making review of this game when I've already written a review on the DS version is because the american version of the SNES really butchered the game. I first played the PSX version and loved it because it had a perfect mix of great story and a great challenge. The DS version was even tougher, but this is just ridiculous. The enemies almost always only do 1 HP in damage on Cecil until late in the game. And I rushed through the game until I got bored since I could've played a better version.
The difficulty isn't the only thing they removed from the American release. Every FF fan have heard of the Active Time Battle system, but guess what that thing is also gone in this version. It's not that the ATB system turned the battles from being boring to awesome great, but I still would've wanted it. Many characters had some unique skills that I don't consider to useful removed, but I don't see any reason why they would remove these skills either.
I may seem a bit negative about this game, but the truth is that I love it and I understand why it has a special place in many people's gaming heart. It's just that I'm used to the a little bit more tougher versions of this game and that's was one of the reasons why FFIV actually is one of my favourite Final Fantasy games. And you still got a great storyline with some of the best RPG characters ever and Nobou Uematsu's music to listen to, so this game is by no means something I don't recommend. I just think that the Final Fantasy Chronicles version on the PSX and the DS version do the game a lot more justice.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 05/26/09
Game Release: Final Fantasy II (US, 11/23/91)
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